Getting your payload to orbit
by Staff Writers for Launchspace
Bethesda MD (SPX) Mar 02, 2021
Launch vehicles and satellites are commonly built by different contractors in separate locations by two different talent pools. Satellite engineers and managers are not generally intimately familiar with launch vehicle design, manufacture and operations. Launch vehicle engineers and managers are not generally intimately familiar with satellite design, manufacture and operations. At some point on the road to orbit a satellite must be placed on a space launch vehicle in order to achieve mission objectives. Therefore, there must be a mating process that is provided by expert systems engineers who specialize in payload/launch vehicle integration and processing. In fact, these engineers should be involved throughout the lifecycle of the satellite's development.
The process begins with requirements definition, hardware/software qualification, independent multi-discipline engineering analysis and operational support. Satellite manufacturers generally perform the requirement analysis, modeling and testing using appropriate standards in order to verify and define requirements that ensure compatibility between satellite and selected launch vehicle.
During vehicle processing, engineers evaluate results and anomalies, participate in root cause investigations and contribute to corrective action plans. These professionals also oversee and ensure environmental compatibility. In addition, there are a variety of related tests, evaluations and data review activities that are ongoing in preparation for launch.
Satellite manufacturers are often asked to select and procure the launch vehicle for a given customer. Large spacecraft typically demand a dedicated launch vehicle or are designated as the prime payload on the vehicle. Payload integration processes are then focused on the prime payload.
However, secondary payloads are becoming more common on large launch vehicles that have excess capacity. In fact, there are several categories of small satellites that ride as secondary cargo or as part of a large number of small spacecraft. In support of this variety of space hardware, several companies have been organized to provide a number of services to small satellite builders and operators.
Such support companies have dedicated teams that manage the payload preparation and launch process. Part of the service is typically to assure that payloads meet certification requirements. For example, one activity might be the conduct of a coupled loads analysis on secondary payloads that may be mated to special devices on the launch vehicle. Another activity may be securing proper licenses and permits.
Clearly, the integration and processing for all space-bound payloads must be undertaken by personnel who are properly trained and experienced. For space professionals who are involved in such activities and want to learn more, Launchspace has a focused two-day course on Payload Integration and Processing that can be presented at your facility. Check it out.
Virgin Galactic posts revenue loss of $238m in Q4
Moscow (Sputnik) Feb 26, 2021
Despite the profit challenges, the chief executive of the British aerospace firm told investors he was excited about bringing on new talent to the leadership team and new investments for the company. Virgin Galactic nosedived 93 percent to $238m, down from $3.7bn the year before, the company said in its fourth quarter reports. Year-on-year losses were $273m up from $211m in 2019, the report read, adding losses per share jumped 14 percent to $1.25. Q4 earnings saw no revenues and the company ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.